Ryan Clark: Coaches Tell Players Helmet-to-Helmet Hits are Proper Technique
The NFL has decided to fine Ryan Clark $40,000 for his head shot on Ed Dickson during Sunday night’s Ravens-Steelers game, and Clark is not pleased. The fine was particularly hefty because Clark is a repeat offender (a late hit out of bounds during week 8 cost him $15,000). This time, he told reporters he is livid with Roger Goodell over the fine and was candid about the fact that he doesn’t respect Goodell now and didn’t respect him before. In addition to bashing the commissioner, Clark also said that the way in which he hit Dickson is how players in the NFL are coached to hit.
“This is something we watched in slow-mo as a team — as a team — to say, ‘If you’re gonna try to dislodge the ball from somebody,” Clark said. “This is the way you should do it. This is the legal way you should do it.’”
When a reporter asked if Clark was referring to tape the Steelers watched during training camp, he said that he was talking specifically about the hit he put on Dickson and referring to a meeting the team had on Monday night. Another reporter then asked Clark if it was Mike Tomlin who said that is the way players should be hitting, to which he responded: “Yes, this is what we talked about in our meeting. Like if you’re gonna go to make a play, this is how you should make it.”
It got better. Clark then talked specifically about the severity of the fine, and said for $40,000 he “might as well put him to sleep for real” or take out their knee. Goodell is used to Pittsburgh players complaining about fines and bitching about rule changes, but I doubt this rant is going to earn Clark the benefit of the doubt for any borderline hits in the future.
Chest bump to Pro Football Talk for the story.